“Under the iQ umbrella, we will provide a holistic approach to competencies and skills development to each individual (i) student by creating intentional connections between their classroom and out-of-classroom experiences so they can be prepared to be successful on their career journey,” said Kafui Kouakou, assistant vice president of career development and experiential learning. “Students will be encouraged to take advantage of more internships, clinical placements and many other experiential learning opportunities during their time here at Quinnipiac (Q).”
Students will also have access to some of the latest digital tools to help them be better informed about careers they are interested in pursuing.
“As a university, we have had great success in career and graduate school outcomes, but we know there is always room to do more and to continue to offer more opportunities for our students to have career success,” Kouakou said.
John Bau, director of career development in the School of Computing and Engineering, pointed to a few of the ways Quinnipiac leads the nation in career placement.
“Quinnipiac has been consistently named as one of the best — if not THE best — university in the country for successful outcomes 10 years after graduation,” he said. “We seek to keep that strong momentum moving forward to help make sure Quinnipiac students have multiple experiential education opportunities during their time here with us. As important as the junior summer internship might be, there are numerous other ways our students can explore potential career paths.”
Bau said the new approach will help prepare students even better for evolving changes of the 21st century career landscape.
“Quinnipiac’s new central career staff — housed in the Arnold Bernhard Library — can provide better guidance for new student who have not yet declared a major course of study, or for those seeking to change direction and explore new possibilities,” he said. “The biggest takeaway for current students is that iQ is a value-add, and does not remove any of the valuable interaction and support they already receive from their school- and college-based career professionals. We’re still here to help, and now there’s more of us.”
As part of the initiative, the university has hired an employer relations director, Brooke Penders, who will help strengthen and expand Quinnipiac’s employers’ portfolio, and Ayanna Wright-Mckennon as a project and operations manager.
“We also have the career and experiential learning lab which is a new digital and physical space where career exploration and development can occur,” Kouakou said. “We have officially launched a new online career management system called Handshake. Furthermore, we have launched a university-wide career development and experiential learning website.”
Students should continue to utilize each respective school’s career development office, Kouakou said.
“The centralized location will support typical career development functions such resume and interview prep, internship and job search, and career exploration conversation for any Quinnipiac student regardless of what school they are part of,” he said. “The career and experiential learning lab has a lounge that students can use to take a quick breather during the day. This is in addition to a professional space where students who have any types of interviews can come and use to avoid external distractions during that crucial moment in their career journey.”
Students will be getting the same high level of support, but there will be a coordinated effort to do outreach to and support of students that are first- and second-year students which are typically the students we don’t see as often, said Lila Carney, director of career development for the School of Communications.
“We want to get students thinking about their career in their earliest semesters because the sooner they can get the wheels turning on what they want to do and where they want to go, the more time we have to help get them there,” she said.
“I am grateful for the tireless efforts that the career development and experiential education team at Quinnipiac has dedicated to launching this critical initiative,” said Provost Debra Liebowitz. “Their efforts are building a strong foundation of opportunities and support for our students, and ensure that Quinnipiac continues to produce well-prepared graduates for years to come.”
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